X
Live    Worship    Grow    Heal

United by Fire

Early on Sunday, January 27, an arsonist caused heavy damage to St. Gregory of Nyssa Greek Orthodox Church in El Cajon. Early damage estimates to the structure and its contents totaled close to $250,000. There were no injuries. On Sunday morning, children and adults bundled up for the cold weather, gathered for their regular weekly service. They sat outside, facing a makeshift altar in the church’s garage with some icons and vestments rescued from the fire.

The same thing had happened at St. David’s in 1991. Not only was there an arson fire at St. David’s, the church building burnt to the ground. This destructive fire remains a key part of St. David’s story. After the parishoners got over their shock and anger, they got to work rebuilding both the physical structure and their sense of community. They also reached out in fearless love to the arsonist, offering forgiveness and financial support, which continues to this day.

Knowing the significance that the arson fire has for St. David’s, and knowing how committed the parish is to outreach, I polled the vestry about the possibility of taking up a special collection for St. Gregory’s. There was unanimous support, and then St. David’s really got to work. The Prayer Quilt Squares group offered to create a quilt for the parish, and committed themselves to stitching separate prayer squares for each of the 80+ households at St. Gregory’s.

In February, Father Simeon Corona, his wife and two parishoners from St. Gregory of Nyssa visited St. David’s where the vestry and a goodly number of parishoners presented the folks from St. Gregory’s with over $1,000 in checks, the prayer quilt, 85 prayer squares and a signed card. Folks from St. David’s offered words of support and encouragement, and received the thanks of St. Gregory’s. Fr. Simeon extended an invitation to join in a Saturday Vespers service, as a means of continuing the conversation and building relationships.

Out of fire comes the opportunity to build anew. +


by
Category: #Uncategorized

Respond to this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Stories

Enough is Enough: A Statement on the Shooting in Uvalde, TX
May 24, 2022

As I write, 18 children and one teacher have been reported dead at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas after yet another school shooting. The anguish, trauma, and fear of students, parents, and teachers touched by this violence is unimaginable. Today’s shooting affects young children, who have the right to grow up safe and protected […]

Memorial Day 2022
May 23, 2022

This year, May 30th is our nation’s Memorial Day, it is observed on the last Monday of May, and it honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Going back to the Civil War, where nearly 500,000 people died, women in the South tended the graves of fallen soldiers, not […]

Youth Leadership Council

This past Sunday, the EDSD Youth Leadership Council gathered at St. Thomas of Canterbury in Temecula. After worship that morning, the council spent time reflecting on their work this year and talking about goals for next year’s council. Elizabeth Sipra, a member of this year’s YLC from St. Thomas, said, “I think that Youth Leadership […]

View All News
Receive the latest news.

© Episcopal Diocese of San Diego 2022. All Rights Reserved.